Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smell of Home

I have been on a baking spree.  Yesterday, I worked on some homemade hot pockets at hubby's request.  Today, I have 18 apple fritters rising and ready to go in the oven shortly.  There is dough raising for English Muffins and then I will make 2 loaves of wheat bread.  I LOVE the smell of fresh baked goods!  Add to that 3 loads of laundry with the pleasant smell of laundry soap and the house smells oh so homey today.

It seems that this will be my semester for working on time management.  It is not that I have more going on, but I just have a lot more "immovable" responsibilities.  I can see that I am being pushed to make the most of each moment, to think about how to accomplish things in a time-saving order ...  Perhaps it is just this week with the start of a new semester and nightly services at the college, or perhaps I am just needing to become more efficient.

With that said, I must get back to work.  The English Muffins will need to be shaped, the fritters popped into the oven, and the last batch of dough mixed!  Then it is on to the homework.  BTW - I aced my first Hebrew quiz (OK it was just the alphabet - but at least it was a good start.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Keep thy Tongue

And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness
and of thy praise all the day long. 
Psalm 35:28

Is that as much of a challenge to you as it is to me?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shameless Promotion

While his blog is listed on the side bar of Simply Keeping the Home, I have not officially promoted hubby's new blog.  Hubby loves Greek.  Though the King James Version is clear and sufficient in all areas, he loves the additional light that the original languages shed.  The Greek language is very clear in SO many areas.  Hubby is blogging (as his schedule allows) at Search the Scriptures.  Follow the link and check it out - he is doing a verse by verse exposition through John 1 right now!

Crunch and Munch

Some churches have "fellowships", some have "SNACs" (Sunday Night After Church), our church has a "Crunch and Munch" periodically.  We had one on Sunday because our friend Sam was home before heading to the Ukraine for a little over a month.  While I love the fellowship, I hate coming up with what to make and this week it was compounded be an inability to make it to a store.  We had just been apple picking (we found Ruby Jons instead of Macs - still very good), so I made some apple raspberry streusel bars using the fresh apples and raspberry jam.  For the "healthier" contribution, I made some Cheese 'n Ham Spirals.  I must have found the recipe in a Kraft magazine.  I think I would tweak the cheese next time, but I was pleased with the outcome (and hubby must have enjoyed them because I had to limit hubby's consumption before the Crunch and Munch so that I would still have something to take.)

Ham and Cheese Spirals

1 egg
1 sheet from frozen puff pastry (1/2 of 17 1/4 oz pack) thawed
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp ground pepper
8 slices ham lunch meat

  • Beat egg and 1 T water; set aside
  • Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface.  Roll into 14 x 10 " rectangle, Cut in 1/2 lengthwise.  Brush with egg mix.
  • Sprinkle 3 T cheese and pepper over 1 pastry; cover with ham slices.  Place remaining pastry egg side down over ham.  Roll gently with rolling pin.  Brush with additional egg mixture.
  • Roll to make 14" log.  Cut into 24 slices.  Place on parchment covered bake sheet.  Brush with egg mix.  Sprinkle with 1 T cheese.
  • Bake at 400* for 12-14 min.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Reading Backwards

Well, one day of classes is down.  I spent last night organizing the syllabuses (or is it syllabi?) so that hubby can attack things in an orderly manner.  This morning I am heading to school with him so that I can sit in on Hebrew class - I am just hoping that I can keep up!  After class, I will stay for chapel and then hurry home to tend my household chores.

This afternoon, we are hoping to go find some Macs at a U-Pick Orchard in Hendersonville, NC. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011


As hubby starts back for his final semester of Bible College (if the Lord wills), I am thankful to be back on a schedule.  I am thankful for the work that hubby has had all summer, but the scheduling has been CRAZY, absolutely no consistency from week to week!  Some folks despise routine and schedules, but I thrive on plans and order.  My life is looking a little more predictable today and I look forward to getting a lot more accomplished on a schedule

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We Survived!

We survived the East Coast earthquake.  I am still laughing because my brother had to call from IN to tell me that I had been through one.  Yes, I felt it ... that is why I laugh.  My trailer has so many quirks that I thought that the AC or refrigerator was just acting up and shaking the place ... HA, HA!

I also survived the Sunday School Party.  5 1/2 hours was not quite long enough to accomplish everything, but we made a valiant effort! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Girl Party Today

Titus 2:3-5
The aged women likewise,
that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness,
not false accusers, not given to much wine,
teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober,
to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good,
obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Did you have a "teacher" or mentor growing up who was an outside support to your parents and your church?  I did.  In fact, she will read this blog post.  While we have not really spent long times together since 1993 when I graduated from high school, she still prays for me and sends the most fun encouragements my way.  While teens and preteens are not the group that I would classify as my "niche,"  God has given me many opportunities to work in this area since arriving in NC.  The preschool ministry which would be my favorite group to work with has always had plenty of workers.  Chris and I took the teen ministry about 9 months into our time here.  Recently the class has become a class of girls, so I now work it alone.  I am thankful for an organized way to fulfill the command in Titus 2.  The girls learned Romans 12:9-22 with the church during the past months and their reward is a party ... and the day is TODAY!  While hubby is hard at work this afternoon, we will bake and decorate cupcakes, make pizza, craft, do nails, and play games.  There will also be a time of devotions where we will continue to focus on being a Titus 2 and a Proverbs 31 girl.  I was thrilled when I asked the group about what they would like to do at their party and they responded with "home-y" type answers such as crafts, sewing, baking.  I have not hosted a party in awhile, but I know this party won't be near as hard as my former preschool parties :) 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Do you ever look around a wonder "why"?

Not why me?  Not even, why them?

Rather a - why not me.

All around families crumble,

people drown in debt,

struggles abound.

It is God's grace that upholds and sustains.

It is not earned or deserved.  It is unmerited.
Today, I am thankful for that grace.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Still knotted!


Celebrating an anniverary today!

Seems like only yesterday ...

yet, 3 states, 3 deployments, and 3 years of school later

we celebrate NINE years of marriage.

May God's grace keep us for another 9 ...
and another 9 ... and another 9 ...
and another 9 ...

I want to be a newlywed FOREVER!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Systematic Approach

I am enjoying the regular study in the book of Psalms each Wednesday night at church.  Pastor challenged us to develop our own outline of the Psalm of the week before he presented it.  While I have not always made an outline, I have tried to read the Psalm of the week each day during that week.  What a blessing!  This one (Psalm 34) is especially comforting and brings a smile as I think of the first graders (now finishing high school) who learned this in my class many years ago.

O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psalm 34:8

Food always tastes best when I am relaxed, when I am "starving," or when someone else has prepared it.  The food is the same, but the way I approach it is different.  My God is always the same, yet when my view is proper, when in my need I turn to Him first, when my trust is rightly founded on Him - the fellowship is so much sweeter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Could it be?

Could fall be just around the corner? 
With school starting next week, I have the fall itch. 
Hubby must have had it too,
because when I arrived home from giving piano lessons,
he had all of the windows open. 
It was 85* in the trailer -
but the breeze still felt good and it was nice to have some FRESH air.

AAHH, Autumn!


Macintosh Apples


Cool mornings

Warm Beverages in the Evening

Colorful Leaves

Just can't wait!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sweet Thoughts

Proverbs 13:19 
The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul:

There is nothing like "back-to-school" and the new school supplies.
I am putting together hubby's binders for the upcoming semester.
I am thankful today to see the finish line in view.
Last semester and the lightest load yet - 17 1/2 credits!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I have met many men who are amazed at the ability of a woman to multitask.  Laundry, meals, cleaning, while answering email or talking on the phone.  I think it is not as great a task as it is sometimes made out to be - the laundry washes itself, the timer on the oven reminds me not to burn the cookies ... you understand.

I was convicted last night as I went for a walk (it was actually almost comfortable at 7:00 in the evening!) that I could do more.  Hubby has been encouraging me to learn Greek.  Did you know that there are 24 different ways to say "the" which all must be memorized?  Cue the whining and complaining.  So I took the 24 articles and their endings on my walk planning to learn 16 (the minimum that he asked of me).  Do you know how many times you can say 24 one syllable "words" in one hour?  It is a lot!  I came home with all 24 learned and ready for constant review this week in order that they might soon be in long-term memory. 

Yes, maybe as a woman I am multitasking in my job as daughter, employee, wife, and/or mother, but am I really taking advantage of every moment.  Could I do better at verse memory?  I can say a verse many times in a 30 minute walk and then review it in the shower.  Could I find more time for personal interaction with the children?  Could I make my exercise a time to play with them?  Could they be more involved in meal preparations?  Could the meals be more thought out or more promptly on the table?  You get the picture ... Maybe you have it under control ... but I am still a Work-in-Progress.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tumbling Markets

Psalm 33:16-17, 20-21
There is no king saved by the multitude of an host:
a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
An horse is a vain thing for safety:
neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
Our soul waiteth for the LORD:
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in him,
because we have trusted in his holy name.

Are you hearing about the stress on the financial markets this week?
The problem?  A vain faith and trust in money, governments, and people
Rest in God today - He will not fail.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I will not be posting any recipes today. 
Well, I have had a few "Flops" this week. 
In my pursuit of stovetop recipes (instead of the oven),
I hit some real losers this week. 
I am glad for a hubby who appreciates my efforts and even graciously eats the awful leftovers :)
Maybe it helped that I made him a peach-plum pie this week!

It was a busy day of piano lessons and cleaning.  I had 6 students today and then worked on tidying the trailer and ironing a stack of work shirts.  Now it is nightfall and the Greek lessons are calling my name.  Right now I am working on memorizing the imperfect verb "to be" and articles and lots of noun endings!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Good for a Laugh

Some folks minds are like concrete ...

all mixed up ...

and permanently set.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Air Conditioning

During these Dog-Days of summer, I am thankful for the Air Conditioning in the trailer. 

Glad to hear that some of you are receiving a break from the heat
... still looking for a break in NC!
But what can you expect in AUGUST :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's Ailing You?

Do you ever think about why you get sick?  Maybe you are sick from poor eating choices.  Maybe you are sick because of a lack of self-discipline.  Maybe it is worry that makes you sick.  Maybe it is sin (see Psalm 32).  Actually all sickness is a result of sin - remember the perfect world before sin in the garden.  I am not saying that your allergies or your sniffle are a result of personal sin, but they are a part of the curse of the fallen world. 

We've been thinking much about cleaning up our eating again.  It is so easy to slip ... free candy bars when combining coupons and sales ... free soft drink refills at the local filling station ... lunch meat and hot dogs are so easy on these hot days ... you get the picture.  Today I filled my cart with extra fruits and vegetables.  We will be trying some GREEN smoothies this week - just water, fruit, and GREENS. 

Why worry about it?  I might get by with poor choices today (I am not all that old yet!),  but I don't want to be "out of commission" when I need to be doing what God wants me to do today or tomorrow.  I want to have energy and strength to be about His business - whatever and whenever that is.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Psalm 32:8
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.

This verse reminds me of my days in the classroom.  Oh, how I would work that first month of school to establish the respect of each child in the room.  I wanted the children to watch me.  I used signs, I whispered, I tested, I corrected until I knew that I had their attention.  Many parents and visitors were amazed that the children seemingly acted properly without any instruction.  No, it was not a lack of instruction, it was that I could "guide them with my eye."

I am rebuked that I am not always watching my God this closely.  He wants to instruct and teach, but so often I am the student staring off into space, the child finding toys in her desk, the child doodling on my homework paper, or the one distracted by another disobedient classmate.  I need to get my eyes where they belong - on my teacher.

Monday, August 1, 2011


basket of ground cherries in their husks

It was a relatively typical Monday.  Piano lessons to teach in the morning ... trailer to clean in the afternoon ... laundry to catch up from the weekend ... but today also involved some EXPERIMENTATION in the kitchen.

ready to enter a pie

I am not usually an adventurous cook.  While today's cooking did involve some ordinary cooking ... Breakfast burritos for the freezer, two loaves of bread, and a dozen English muffins.  The fun came from a free pack of seeds.  The seeds were for Ground Cherries.  I had never grown them, seen them, or tasted them.  After weeks of harvesting, we finally had enough to make a pie.  It is done, but I probably won't get a taste until ... breakfast?

*Update - the pie was NOT a hit. 
Hubby did not care for it,
and while edible, I don't think that I will follow that old Mennonite recipe again.
Will continue a search for something else to try.*